41 passengers on board on AirAsia QZ8501 were of single Indonesian church.
The remains of some of the AirAsia QZ8501 passengers recovered from the sea were carried to a military transport plane before being transported to Surabaya, Indonesia. The ill-fated flight originated, at the airport in Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan January 2, 2015 Surabaya.
According to media reports, 41 passengers of AirAsia Fight QZ8501, which crashed on Sunday with a total of 162 people on board, were reportedly members of a single church in Indonesia. Reportedly, the 41 Christians were members of the Mawar Sharon Church of Surabaya, which is part of one of the largest mega churches in the region, with 30,000 members.
A pastor at the church, Philip Mantofa, said that he was shocked to learn of the tragic loss to his congregation. He called upon relatives of the victims not to allow the tragedy to shake their belief and faith in the Lord. “Some things do not make sense to us but God is bigger than all this,” Mantofa said.
It seems that several church members on the flight were apparently flying to Singapore for the holidays. Moreover, no less than another five people on board the AirAsia flight belonged to The Bethany Church, another prominent church in Surabaya.
The hapless flight was travelling from Surabaya to Singapore on December 28 when it disappeared. The search for the bodies of the victims in the Java Sea meanwhile continues around much grief and tragedy. Search teams have so far found 40 dead bodies their search mission hampered by bad weather.